The comedy podcast universe is ever expanding, not unlike the universe universe. We’re here to make it a bit smaller, a bit more manageable. There are a lot of great shows and each has a lot of great episodes, so we want to highlight the exceptional, the noteworthy. Each week our crack team of podcast enthusiasts and specialists and especially enthusiastic people will pick their favorites. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.
Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend - Greg Fitzsimmons #7
Pablo: After a dozen appearances on each other’s podcasts, Alison Rosen and Greg Fitzsimmons have finally announced the dual podcast they’ve talked about starting for years. Fitzsimmons, a sardonic, ballbusting New Yorker and Rosen, a laidback and cheery Californian, might seem like an odd pairing. But their surprising chemistry is like that of an older brother and a little sister who still call each other twice a month to complain about their bratty kids and mom’s new husband. Speaking of kids, the extended wait for their official partnership has a reason: Loin Fruit, debuting later this spring, will focus on parenting. Rosen is a new mother struggling with issues like getting milk out of “her beautiful but useless” breasts. Fitzsimmons, the proud father of two teens, is preparing for life as an empty nester. Together, they’ll try their hardest not to fuck up their offspring. If you’ve never heard Alison or Greg on their respective podcasts, this is a great introduction to a future podcast that’s sure to be a steady presence in iTune’s “Kids & Family” charts. [iTunes]
Black Men Can’t Jump In Hollywood - Juice w/Carl Foreman Jr.
Marc: Podcasting is definitely coming into its own when shows are beginning to engender online or TV shows. Maron and Comedy Bang Bang may have led the pack (Ricky Gervais’ HBO cartoon treatment of his podcast serving as the frontrunner, perhaps), but now it’s beginning to happen more and more — and from people who haven’t previously had the creds to rate their own shows. One such crew is the gang behind Black Men Can’t Jump in Hollywood, featuring Jonathan Braylock, James III, and Jerah Milligan, along with a different black leading Hollywood figure each installment. They’ve embarked on video with a limited series Projecting on Seriously.TV, which is available via YouTube and was covered expertly last week here on Splitsider. This week on their podcast they play host to actor/writer/comedian Carl Foreman Jr. (IFC’s Frank and Lamar), who helps them dive into the intricacies of 1992’s Juice starring Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps. It’s fascinating to hear this quartet of young black men talk not just about the film but what it, the characters, the story, and the actors meant to them growing up in America. (One of the show’s hosts wanted to be Omar Epps based on the strength of his performance in this film.) The guys all have a comic mentality and, as such, can’t help but riff from time to time as aspects of the movie are brought up, but they are also able to analyze director Ernest Dickerson’s work in a way that really displays a wisdom (and humor) that comes from understanding inner-city lifestyle from the inside. [iTunes]
Leigh: If I had to pinpoint the best thing about Good One - which, please don’t make me, there are too many best things to chose from - but if I had to, it’d be the variety of kinds of jokes host Jesse David Fox looks at. This week’s episode takes it one step further, when he sits down with David Litt, Obama’s speechwriter who was behind getting Keegan-Michael Key to do Luther the anger translator at the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Litt breaks down how you even go about writing the President’s speech for the event, from when you start it, who you get to pitch jokes for it, how you decide what jokes make the cut, right down to how you give the President feedback on his joke delivery (you don’t). How do you hand a bunch of jokes to the President, a lot of which are at his own expense? That sounds like an impossibly stressful thing to do. But, as Litt describes Obama’s approach to the whole thing: “He’s confident enough in himself.” On a totally, completely unrelated note, Donald Trump has chosen not to attend this year’s dinner. [iTunes]
My Neighbors Are Dead - Friday the 13th
Marc: Adam Peacock is a Second City guy out of Chicago who has hit on a niche topic for comedy podcasts that has that “I wish I’d thought of that!” quality. My Neighbors Are Dead springboards from the premise that horror movies have some minor characters who maybe didn’t get a chance be heard, so he’s giving them a chance to air their perspectives on some of the incidents chronicled in the movies. In this episode he’s joined by sisters Juniper and Chrystaline Jacquer, voiced by Chi-town improvisers Rachel Mason and Susan Messing. These two ultra-religious CITs (counselors-in-training) were across Crystal Lake from where the horrendous and brutal slayings depicted in the Friday the 13th movie happened. And they proclaim that the wicked campers had everything that crazed killer Jason Voorhees had in mind for them that night. The girls are a little weak on their Bible quotes (“Is it Luke 3:16 or John 3:16?” muses Juniper at one point). Each installment is short – this episode is only 11 minutes long – but that seems right given the one-note premise of the show. It will likely, as it did me, leave you wanting more. [iTunes]
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Chapo Trap House - Chapo Goes To College
Who Charted? - The Sklar Brothers
You Made It Weird - Allison Williams
Pod Save America - When You Open the Canister, Snakes Pop Out
Always Been Silly - Jim Tews
Hound Tall with Moshe Kasher - Christian Atheism
Tuesdays with Stories - Big Gay Head
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
Leigh Cesiro is a writer living in Brooklyn who only needs 10 minutes to solve any Law & Order: SVU episode.